In this review of TouchBistro POS, I’ll be taking a look at one of the major players in the POS industry for restaurants. If you’re running a small business, it’s easy to forget about the importance of a point of sale (POS) system. With so many operational worries on your mind, you may never consider the importance of the platform you use to process transactions. If it’s been years since you’ve used a new POS platform, there’s a high chance that you’re missing out on some serious benefits.
Does this unique platform have what it takes to improve your business’s operations? Let’s take a look!
Subscription based, no lengthy contracts
Intuitive, easy-to-use platform
Detailed data reporting
Excellent staff and inventory management systems
Extensive menu building platform
Suited to multiple business sizes and hospitality niches
24/7 customer support
iPad based system
A wide range of hardware add-ons available
Different prices for different business sizes
Can’t process credit card transactions offline
Somewhat limited integrations
Can take 2-3 weeks to schedule an installation
Overview of TouchBistro POS
TouchBistro is a hybrid iPad-based point of sale system for restaurants of all sizes and types. The system runs on Apple iPads and provides restauranteurs with a wide range of features to run their business better than ever. These features include staff management, menu building, reservation management, inventory management, in-depth reporting, tableside ordering, and plenty more features.
Something that makes this iPad POS so unique is its dedication to the hospitality industry. TouchBistro touts to be built for restaurant people by restaurant people. Unlike many POS systems which have a focus across multiple niches, this company provides exclusive services to restaurants and other food and beverage establishments.
Touch Bistro first began operations in 2010. Since then, it has made a name for itself in the POS industry and now has offices and provides services in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Mexico. The product has won multiple awards, including a LinkedIn Award for Top Startups in Canada and the Red Herring Top 100 Global Award in 2018, amongst many others.
Let’s continue with the TouchBistro POS review and take a closer look at the details!
TouchBistro offers different pricing options depending on the number of point of sale terminals that you need. It also provides different price points depending on whether you’re bringing your hardware or want it included. It’s important to know if the platform is within your budget range before you take part in demos or sales meetings. Let’s take a look at the pricing structure and see how much it costs.
Here is TouchBistro’s pricing structure:
Solo – $69/month for 1 license
Dual – $129/month for 2 licenses
Team – $249/month for up to 5 licenses
Unlimited – $399/month unlimited licenses
Software + Hardware Bundle
Solo – From $150/month for 1 license
Dual – From $209/month for 2 licenses
Team – From $359/month for up to 5 licenses
Unlimited – From $539/month unlimited licenses
Each software license is equal to one register. There are no contractual obligations. These packages are billed annually, so the bigger the software and hardware bundles, the more money it’s going to cost upfront.
While the cost for Touch Bistro might seem relatively high, it’s very competitive to other point-of-sale system prices on the market. It’s also a good value for money when you consider the number of terminals and locations you have access to with each package. The company does an excellent job of providing different price points dependent on the number of POS systems that you need.
What about the installation of the equipment? Their support team is available during the initial setup and with scheduled sessions after that to help with configuring your equipment correctly. Alternatively, they offer premium configuration services for a fee that is customized based on your specific requirements and venue type.
You can get a free demo of TouchBistro before you make a purchasing commitment, which we highly recommend with all systems.
The primary factor that differentiates software for restaurant management is the quality of features included with the platform. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits that make this iPad POS a unique solution for restaurants:
QSR Checkout Example
Complete menu management – Quickly build menus, send orders to the kitchen, and make on-the-fly changes to tickets to ensure your customers get what they ordered.
Inventory management – Helps you keep track of items and prevent menu shortages — this helps avoid disappointment from running out of products.
Loyalty program – Allows you to communicate with customers, build customer profiles, issue award points, and create purchasing incentives.
Customer relationship management – Tools to gain insights into your customers to help provide personalized customer service and drive marketing opportunities.
Full reporting system – Allows you to access your sales data and employee information remotely – this is an excellent way to keep your finger on your business’s pulse. It can help you improve your approach to business and increase sales.
Tableside ordering – Provides staff members with the ability to input orders directly from the side of the customers’ table – this can increase the speed of service and prevent costly mistakes.
Floor plan & table management – You can build your restaurant’s floor plan within your app to manage reservations and orders – this helps to prevent confusion for staff and increase efficiency both in the kitchen and on the floor.
Staff management & scheduling – Manage employee hours, as well as track staff performance.
Printer configuration – You can print or email receipts to customers, which can help cut down on waste.
Tabs and order management – Set up tabs and split orders effortlessly through the platform.
Multiple integrated payment processors – Bring your processor to accept all payment types wherever you are.
24/7/365 support – Dedicated specialists with knowledge of the industry available all the time. Free integrated remote support and daily backups.
Table Layout Example
As you can see, there are plenty of features on offer with the TouchBistro POS solution. And this is just the tip of the iceberg — you can spend days searching through all the different components (over 200) this service has to offer.
Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
Almost all tablet-based POS solutions are “Cloud-based,” meaning they run off of the Cloud via your Internet connection. TouchBistro is unique in that it is a hybrid; while it does use the Cloud, it does not fundamentally run off of the Cloud and Internet connection – thus making it more stable.
For this reason, Touch Bistro doesn’t have an “offline mode,” quite simply because it doesn’t need one. All features are designed to work seamlessly without an Internet connection.
Industries Served & Business Size
As you can probably tell by the name, TouchBistro is meant for the restaurant and hospitality industry. While it’s mainly suited for restaurants, the additional platform categories allow you to use it for quick service, fast casual, bars, clubs, food trucks, cafes, and breweries. As you can see, this isn’t a suitable POS system for retailers or eCommerce businesses.
In terms of business size, most of their clientele are small to mid-sized hospitality businesses, and it is not necessarily geared towards large multi-unit chains. There is other software that is better suited for national chains. The platform’s features and price packages will make it easy to scale to a larger sized company. It’s safe to say in this review that it’s a POS solution that is suitable for businesses of many types and sizes!
Ease of Use
One of my favorite features about the software is how easy it is to use. The App user interface is very modern, intuitive, and simple to navigate. Instead of dealing with a complex system that takes days or weeks to adapt to, you can quickly figure out how to use the software effectively – this can help you save time and money when it comes to training new staff. You can design your menus and restaurant interface to suit the intuitive processes that you need to run your business for speed and efficiency.
Verticle Example for Full Service Restaurant
Having worked with other iPad POS systems, they’re not all created equal. In terms of ease-of-use, TouchBistro shines, and this is one of the most valuable components of the service.
TouchBistro is an app that runs on an Apple iPad and works as a mobile point of sale (mPOS) – this is the hardware platform of choice for many modern business owners, but it does leave you without the option to use Android or any other devices. Still, if you have an iPad, or you’re willing to invest in one, it’s a robust and reliable hardware platform that can handle all of TouchBistro’s features.
You can also integrate the system with a range of different printers and cash registers. As an Apple partner, Touch Bistro can provide you with all the equipment you need, or you can purchase them independently.
I recommend obtaining all your hardware and software from your vendor, so you always get the latest equipment that is compatible with the software. If you try to piece equipment together to save a few bucks, you risk spending a lot of time troubleshooting issues when everything doesn’t work together.
Integrations & Add-ons
While TouchBistro doesn’t offer as many of the same integrations as some competitors, it does have what you need to build a fully functioning platform. For accounting purposes, you can integrate with both QuickBooks and Xero.
On top of this, you can integrate with 7Shifts, Square, Shogo, and JUST EAT. Unfortunately, there aren’t way too many takeaway integration options currently available.
Also, as previously mentioned, it has its in-house loyalty program that you can use to create loyalty schemes for your customers – this is an excellent feature that can help you improve your brand’s reach. You can fully customize the loyalty program to suit your business’s needs.
Compatible Credit Card Companies
For merchant services they currently have direct integration with the following payment solutions:
TouchBistroPayments (their brand)
It’s worth noting that TouchBistro does have a “gateway” option that allows them to connect into any processing solution, although this means there’s a middle man that will lead to additional costs. Luckily there are some big names that they connect into directly to reduce that cost.
Customer Service and Support
If you need to get in touch with your POS provider, it’s essential that you have access any time of day. Unfortunately, many POS companies don’t offer extended support hours — this can be an issue if you’re running a venue or restaurant that is open late into the night. Fortunately, TouchBistro does offer its clients 24/7/365 customer support.
The company also has an excellent online database of information that can help you solve common problems or search for issues related to your point-of-sale system. It’s incredibly comprehensive, so this is indeed a positive feature. They are also very active on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, where you can find useful information and videos about the product.
TouchBistro has a B+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. But as with most large companies, there are some negative comments about the business online. Many of these negative comments revolve around long waiting times and inconsistent customer service. However, you’re not going to find customer support that is one hundred percent perfect all the time. But this isn’t an issue related to the platform itself.
As you can probably tell, TouchBistro is by and large one of the most popular POS systems for restaurants on the market. With its range of features and credit card processing solutions, you’ll be able to scale this system to fit businesses of any size. Its hyper-focus on the restaurant niche ensures it has the solutions you need to improve your current operations.
With a subscription-based payment model that’s billed annually, it’s very cost-effective when compared to other top POS solutions, especially if you go with the hardware and software bundle. The more terminals you require, the steeper the upfront costs. However, the overall cost is still going to be less expensive than purchasing the “traditional” terminal based point of sale where you have to buy software licenses and a lot of sizeable bulky equipment.
If you decide to work with Touch Bistro, you’ll benefit from a feature-rich iPad-based system with ongoing software updates included and 24/7 support. While its current integration limits do restrict you to a few add-ons, the rest of the service is perfect for both new and seasoned business owners.
Keep in mind: TouchBistro offers free demos of its platform if you want to try out its system before you make any commitments. It’s an excellent way to get a feel for the platform before you hand over any money!
What is TouchBistro? TouchBistro is an intuitive iPad POS software app with powerful features designed specifically for restaurants and bars of all sizes. It’s a modern hybrid POS system that takes the hard work out of running your business efficiently.
TouchBistro is used in over 100 countries and is installed in over 16,000+ restaurants. They have offices in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Mexico.
How much does TouchBistro cost?
TouchBistro’s new pricing is as follows: (Solo) – $69 per month for 1 license. (Dual) – $129 per month for 2 license. (Team) – $249 per month for up to 5 licenses. (Unlimited) – $399 per month for unlimited licenses.
They also offer software and hardware bundles for each package with prices starting from $150 for 1 license and $539 for unlimited licenses.
Does TouchBistro integrate with Quickbooks?
Yes. TouchBistro utilizes software called Shogo that facilitates the connectivity between TouchBistro and Quickbooks. The integration with Shogo also allows connectivity to Sage and Xero accounting software.
Is TouchBistro a good option for restaurants? TouchBistro is designed by restaurant people, which is a plus. The software and hardware bundles are competitively priced and comes with all the features you need to run a smooth operation. It’s a good option for those that want a modern interface without the complexity of the “traditional” POS systems. The software starts at $69 a month, but before purchasing the software, we recommend getting a demo.
Does TouchBistro offer a free trial?
Yes. TouchBistro offers a free trial on their website so you can take it for a test drive to see if it’s the best option for your business. You will need an iPad for the free POS software trial. To fully take advantage of the software trial, it’s recommended to book a demo with one of their POS specialists.
Editor’s note: How’d we do on our Touchbistro review? Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns? Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know in the comments below or contact us.
Jason Feemster is a POS specialist and the President of Point of Sale USA (https://www.posusa.com). Jason has been in the point of sale business and in information technology for over 20 years. His website and articles have been featured or quoted in many industry publications including Inc.com, Business.com, Point of Sale News, Restaurant Business Online, Channelinsider.com, and VSR Magazine. Connect with Jason Feemster on LinkedIn.
For more information about the point of sale industry, Jason invites you to Like POS USA on Facebook and to Follow Point of Sale USA on LinkedIn.